A Worthwhile Mission

The Library Society has served as a cultural, intellectual and social oasis in the historic district for over a hundred years. What makes it extraordinary is the magic that takes place within its walls.  Our main reading room provides a home where people congregate to share ideas, music, books and conversation – a home that offers intellectual and cultural feast served up by the leading thinkers of our day. We have a rich history, begun 274 years ago by young people who cared about the written word and the learning process.

Now it is our responsibility to preserve it.


The Founders Award was established to recognize a person who exemplifies the values of the 19 young men who collaborated in 1748 to promote knowledge and shared learning by creating one of America’s earliest cultural and intellectual centers. This year we are honored to announce our 2023 recipient, David Rubenstein, a visionary and longtime friend of the Library, who more than meets the criteria of this prestigious award.


The items that comprise our Special Collections are individual time capsules, as well as first editions and earliest printings of novels. Without conservation and preservation, the treasures and antiques of the collection are at risk of deterioration. Whether you wish to donate to aid in general preservation efforts, or select an individual work, there are ample opportunities to get involved.  


Your generous contributions to this fund are held ‘in reserve’ for the future health and stability of the Library Society, its collections, staffing and physical structure – a safety net that will allow us to weather unforeseen or unprecedented challenges and events that lie beyond our ability to predict. This is our ‘rainy day’ fund, and gives us the comfort of knowing that the Library Society will always remain for future generations.


Donations to this fund are essential to the ongoing operations of the library, and inherently ‘unrestricted’ so the organization has flexibility to use to its best and most supportive needs.  The engaging speaker events, musical performances and programming that we all love, are made possible and further developed by your generous support. Your gift will expand opportunities and help shape an ever relevant intellectual and cultural space for members and visitors alike.

Endowment & Planned Legacy Giving

The story of the Library Society is indeed one of gritty survival, from the devastating hurricane of 1753, to fires and earthquakes, wars and economic depression – even a global pandemic.

Yet we are still here, evidence of the relevance we provide on a daily basis.  A general contribution to our ENDOWMENT or strategic PLANNED LEGACY GIFTS further aid toward securing the future of the South’s oldest cultural institution and sustaining its mission and furthering its intellectual impact.

For these incredibly generous considerations, we welcome a conversation to better understand your desires and share ideas on how to direct those in ways to support the Library Society and carry its mission forward.

Please click this link to complete a form where we will have the necessary information to schedule a visit to speak at your preferred time.  We are honored by your interest, thank you.


Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.

– Henry David Thoreau